Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences CEO Dawn Hudson prepares to take a final bow at the end of her term next year. Since 2011, Hudson has impacted the organization in many ways, from diversifying its membership and workforce to opening the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in September. This year’s ceremony—the first since she announced her departure—is marked by her reminiscing on her favorite memories (in chronological order) from Hollywood’s biggest night. “It’s so hard to pick only 10 favorite Oscar moments,” says Hudson, who shares her picks below. “When I go back to review these, I cry (or laugh) all over again. What a privilege it is to be part of this tradition.”
Halle Berry wins Best Actress for Monster’s Ball PHOTO COURTESY OF A.M.P.A.S.
Halle Berry's moving reaction to being the first Black actress to win the Best Actress Oscar: “This moment is so much bigger than me. Wait a minute. ... It’s 74 years here! I got to take this time!”
Whoopi Goldberg’s entrance from the heavens to kick off Laura Ziskin’s beautifully written show, the first after 9/11
Best Actor winner Denzel Washington and Honorary Award winner Sidney Poitier saluting each other with their Oscars
Best Actor winner Denzel Washington of Training Day and 2002 Honorary Award winner Sidney Poitier. PHOTO COURTESY OF A.M.P.A.S.
The entire 81st Oscars, produced by Bill Condon and Laurence Mark and hosted by Hugh Jackman. The show’s narrative, writing, the innovations in presenting the four Best and Supporting Actor categories by five past winners—I could do an all-time top 10 list from this show alone.
PHOTO COURTESY OF A.M.P.A.S.
Two fun moments from Ellen DeGeneres’ second hosting gig: the legendary selfie and the pizza delivery to a hungry audience
Chris Rock’s opening monologue in the year of #OscarsSoWhite. No one could have taken us through that show better than Chris.
PHOTO: BY AARON POOLE/©A.M.P.A.S.
Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” exhilarating opening number. That energy carried all the way through the entire show… right until the Moonlight/La La Land Best Picture envelope mix-up—an out-of-body experience I’ll never forget. I still can’t believe it.
PHOTO: BY RICHARD HARBAUGH/©A.M.P.A.S.
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s cinematic performance of “Shallow.” And, in the same show, Congressman John Lewis greeted with a standing ovation to introduce Best Picture-nominated film Green Book. What a night
PHOTO: BY PHIL MCCARTEN/©A.M.P.A.S.
The first Black Panther win of the night—Ruth Carter for Costume Design— was the beginning of a thrilling evening.
PHOTO: BY BLAINE OHIGASHI/©A.M.P.A.S.
Parasite’s historic Best Picture win. Everyone loved the movie; very few predicted Academy voters would choose it to win.